Cat foils suspected thief's getaway

By Petro-Anne Vlok
03 September 2014

A fleeing man made a critical error when he stopped mid-police chase to pet a cat, allowing the cops to catch up with him.

Daniel Pinedo Velapatino (21), who allegedly stole R63 000 ($6 000) from his friend after doing drugs together in a Florida hotel in the US, ignited a police chase after he crashed his Lexus into a cop car.

He fled on foot and according to a US news station, almost evaded police when he entered Candace Noonan’s living room through a sliding door.

He told Noonan that he was mowing the lawn next door and asked for a glass of water. Thinking that he was a landscaper, Noonan obliged, but became suspicious when she returned to the living room to find Velapatino on the floor playing with her cat.

“It was odd, very odd,” Noonan told the US news station. “He was stroking my cat. It almost looked like he either was on drugs or he was mentally handicapped.” When Noonan’s husband started questioning Velapatino, he fled through a back door.

”We saw cop cars driving around the front of our house, anthat’s when we sort of put two and two together,” Noonan said. They phoned the police, who gave chase and eventually caught Velapatino.

Velapatino told investigators that he stole the money because he needed the pay back the R21 000 ($2 000) he owed his mother.


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